Title: I Don’t Know How She Does It
Reviewed by: JM Willis
Directed by: Douglas McGrath
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear
Running time: 89 minutes , Rated PG-13, Available on DVD
Kate Reddy, a financial executive juggles her career and responsibilities as a wife and mother of two, as rivals, friends and family comment in awe to an unseen/unheard interviewer. Kate breaks the fourth wall as she explains “how she does it.”
I stumbled upon the Uma Thurman box office bomb Motherhood a few weeks ago while channel surfing at my parents’ house, and found the storyline in comparison eerily similar. Mom has to juggle being a wife, have a successful career, still keep her sanity and reign triumphant despite the obstacles. Sarah Jessica Parker is at the stage in her career now that she shouldn’t be considered to carry a movie on her own. If the title doesn’t have Sex or City in the title, you have to get some bigger names with bigger parts to in order for the film to garner any revenue or interest. Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn had great characters whose parts seemed whittled down so that Sarah Jessica Parker could remain the star. I’ve never read the novel, but this was my impression. Seth Meyers had a great little part as the bootlicking coworker bound to steal Kate’s client, and Busy Phillipps was perfect casting as the rival mom. Greg Kinnear’s character as Kate’s husband was way too forgiving, and too good to be true. Pierce Brosnon rounds off the cast as the good looking, single client who Kate sees as an escape from her home responsibilities.
I’m not sure I liked the message that was played out in the film either. Kate finally realizes that her marriage is in jeopardy and she will keep on missing her children’s milestones if she continues to be a woman who is dedicated to having a career. The movie basically says, “you can’t do it all” to all the working moms out there. That if you want a career, you can’t be a mom, and vice versa. I also didn’t like that Kate imposed her pro-life views on her assistant who clearly stated she never wants children, then the assistant totally changes her tune once she has a baby; it’s so cliche and manipulative.
The special feature on the Blu-ray is an interview/commentary featurette with the bestselling author Allison Pearson.
I Don’t Know How She Does It is a fantasy chick flick. I say it’s a fantasy because I know many women who will relate to this character, but it will only be delusions of grandeur. I really don’t think we need another movie to feed their ego, but they’re the reason why the Oxygen and Lifetime channels are still in business. This film’s plot would work better as a sit-com or drama, but I still wouldn’t want to watch it.
Total Rating: C